For the crumb crust:
- 1 3/4 cups fine graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
For the filling:
- 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup heavy or heavy whipping cream, cold
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 20 oz can of pineapple, drained
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the topping:
- 3-4 pineapple rings (use extra or from the total amount above)
- 2-3 tablespoon sugar (if you wish to caramelize them)
- Drizzle of oil or dab of butter (if you wish to caramelize them)
For the crumb crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C if you're baking the crust. You can opt for simply chilling it until firm.
- Have ready a 9-inch pie plate or pie pan with a removable bottom and high sides.
- For the cookie crumbs, the easiest way is to use a food processor and process until you have fine crumbs. Make sure there are no large pieces or that it's a very coarse crumb mixture as it will prevent the mixture from compressing well. You can also make the crumbs by hand, but it takes a while and some patience. Crush the cookies with a rolling pin. It's easier if you put them in a large plastic bag, like a Ziploc bag, leaving it a bit open to let the air out as you roll.
- By hand: mix crumbs with the sugar in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter and combine everything until it resembles wet sand and no dry spots remain.
- Food processor: you can make the mixture directly in the bowl of the processor. Simply process the graham crackers with the sugar and add the melted butter to the bowl of the processor, pulse a few times, and you have your graham mixture ready.
- Press the mixture onto the pan, starting at the edges and the angles where the base and sides join together and make sure it's compacted. This will help when removing the pie from the pan.
- Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly golden and dry. Let cool completely on a wire rack before filling.
- For a no-bake pie or dessert: simply put the crust in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to allow the butter to firm up. This will make it less sturdy and might crumble here and there when you cut it but worth it if you don't want to turn on the oven.
For the pineapple filling:
- Beat cold cream in a large bowl until it forms medium-firm peaks. Reserve.
- In another large mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese with the sugar until smooth, lump-free and the sugar has dissolved a little. You can use an electric mixer for this part.
- Add the vanilla and pineapple chunks and mix to incorporate well.
- Add the pineapple mixture to the beaten cream in 2 parts, mixing lightly the first time and making sure it's fully incorporated the second time. Don't overmix but make sure no streaks remain. Use a spatula to integrate well.
- Fill the prepared crust, smooth the top and refrigerate the pie for several hours until firm.
- Add the topping at the last moment. You can have the caramelized pineapple made in advance or use fresh or canned pineapple slices, chopped. The pie should be served cold.
For the caramelized topping:
- If you're short on time or don't want to caramelize the pineapple, simply chop it, drain it well and top the cold pie.
- If you want caramelized fruit: heat butter or oil in a non-stick skillet and add the pineapple.
- Sprinkle with half the sugar and cook for a few minutes.
- Flip and sprinkle the rest of the sugar on top.
- When the bottoms are caramelized, flip over and let the other side get golden brown. Move them a little during baking to avoid burning.
- Let cool, cut into pieces and distribute on top of the pie.
- Should the crust be baked? This no-bake pie doesn't require pre-baking the crust. However, if you prefer a crisper crust, you can bake it for 10 minutes and let it cool completely before filling it.
- Drain the crushed pineapple: it's an essential step to remove as much pineapple juice as possible. The excess liquid and moisture could make the pie filling too runny and affect its consistency. Press the pineapple against a fine-mesh sieve or use paper towels to remove the excess juice.
- Making the pie in advance: assemble and refrigerate it without toppings. Serve cold with the topping added at the last moment.
- Lower-fat or dairy-free version: you can use reduced-fat or vegan cream cheese substitutes.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Refrigeration time: 3 hours
- Category: Pies & Tarts
- Method: Mixing + Refrigerating
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: pineapple cream cheese pie